In World War Z

Boeken explains how the Jewish people were slow to respond in Europe during the 1930s, equivocated during the escalation of Arab armaments in 1973 and paid for it both times. Now, a system exists where 10 high-ranking individuals are pooled to take every threat seriously. If nine agree to dismiss it, it is the duty of the tenth person to investigate further, even if it seems foolish.


According to Eytan Buchman, IDF spokesperson on a Quora discussion on the 10th man doctrine

The Israeli military does indeed have a similar doctrine but it is not called the 10th man doctrine.

Intelligence is all about piecing together information amassed from a variety of sources. Like any puzzle in earlier stages, some pieces can be misinterpreted, which could lead to a cascading effect of incorrectly interpreted information. After the Yom Kippur War (1973), the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate created a Red Team, a devil’s advocate team that can challenge prevalent assumptions within intelligence bodies.

The unit is a small and elite one that consists primarily of officers with academic backgrounds. One of the key elements is access. The officers have unfettered access to information through the military and are capable of tendering reports to senior levels - even reaching above the major general who commands military intelligence. The combination of access to information and the ability to challenge hypotheses by going above the command chain is critical in providing a control for intelligence reports.

The unit’s tag line is based on the classic “He who dares, wins” used by the SAS, and changed to “He who thinks, wins”. The unit is also referred to occasionally as “Ipcha Mistabra”, an Aramaic term popular in the Jewish Talmud that means “on the contrary, it appears that …“

  1. In Turkey, ‘World War Z’ is no World War Zion
  2. Lessons From Israel’s Intelligence Reforms by Yosef Kuperwasser, who used to head the Research Division of the IDF. Search for “The devil’s advocate office ensures that AMAN’s intelligence assessments are creative and do not fall prey to group think.”